Longtime Sharks centre Joe Thornton joins Maple Leafs on 1-year deal

Joe Thornton

That was evident after Thornton called members of the Sharks before news broke of his signing with the Leafs, per The Athletic's Kevin Kurz.

The hockey club announced on Friday that the 41-year-old, who was born in London and raised in Lynhurst, has signed a one-year contract valued at $700,000.

Thornton recorded 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 70 games this past season with the San Jose Sharks.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to undergo surgery on right knee
Without the Frenchman, City's title defence imploded paving the way for Liverpool to cruise to the league title by 18 points. The sidelining of Van Dijk is compounded by the absence of goalkeeper Alisson Becker with a shoulder injury.

But with his physical style, leadership and his famous ZZ Top-style beard, he'll be welcome in a Toronto dressing room. However unlike other modest deals signed this offseason, the Thornton agreement does carry some risk, as it includes a no-movement clause and the money can not be buried in the minors.

He was selected by Boston with the first overall pick of the 1997 draft. But the bottom six forwards will have to be sorted out with Jason Spezza already brought back to play fourth line centre among other roles.

In 2005, the Bruins traded Thornton to San Jose for three players, Germany's Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart. He finished the season with 125 points in 81 games and took home the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer as well as the Hart Trophy.

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